Death by Poisoning
MINOT – A man is dead. His longtime girlfriend is charged with murder. A $30 million inheritance scam is believed to be the reason.
Ina Kenoyer, 47, Minot, was arrested October 31 for a AA felony charge of Murder-Intentional, Knowing, or with Extreme Indifference, for the September 4 death of Steven Riley Jr., 51, Minot.
According to a sworn statement filed with the court, Kenoyer poisoned Riley by mixing lethal doses of antifreeze into his tea. The fatal cocktail was believed to have been served to Riley the day before his death.
Authorities say Riley and several friends gathered at Minot International Airport on the evening of Sept. 3 where Riley believed he was to meet an attorney to complete paperwork to receive the $30 million inheritance from an unknown relative. The attorney never showed up. Police say there is no evidence that the inheritance was legitimate.
Friends of Riley told police that Riley’s health was declining rapidly during their time at the airport, so much so that he was unsteady on his feet and nearly falling over attempting to walk. They say they urged Kenoyer to seek medical attention for Riley, but she did not do so, saying Riley was suffering from heat stroke and just needed rest.
Shortly after noon the following day police responded to a 911 emergency call for a report of an unconscious male at a northwest Minot address. The unconscious male was identified as Riley. He was transported to Trinity Hospital where it was determined his medical condition was so severe that he was flown to a Bismarck hospital within hours. Riley never regained consciousness and died the following day.
The affidavit says several friends of Riley reported to police that they believed Kenoyer poisoned Riley with antifreeze. An autopsy was requested which revealed the cause of Riley’s death was ethylene glycol poisoning. Ethylene glycol is a key ingredient in antifreeze.
Police say a search of the northwest Minot residence discovered antifreeze in several containers, including a Windex bottle in the living room. Kenoyer told detectives that she was aware of Riley’s $30 million inheritance and believed she was entitled to half of it as Riley’s “common law” wife. Police say Kenoyer was “incensed” after being informed that common law marriage is not recognized in North Dakota.
Kenoyer is being held in the Ward County Jail with the distinction of having the highest bond of any current jail inmate — $1 million. She has a bond hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday in front of North-Central District Judge Richard Hagar.